PEIA

Teachers and other state workers rally at the Capitol, Mar. 6, 2018.
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A task force met for a second time Tuesday as it tries to find a long-term funding solution to an insurance program for West Virginia teachers and other public employees.

Kara Lofton

During the teacher strike a couple weeks ago, West Virginia educators were asking for two main things: a pay raise and for legislators to “fix PEIA.” While the prorgam’s finance board ultimately agreed to freeze proposed changes to the plan that would have increased costs, truly fixing PEIA on the long term might not be that simple.

Kara Lofton

The new Public Employee’s Insurance Agency task force met today at the Capitol. The task force was mandated by the governor in response to recent striking by teachers who demanded the state Legislature to “fix PEIA.” Teachers protested increased premiums and health costs, as well as a pay raise.

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Six more women will join a task force to seek a long-term funding solution to an insurance program for teachers and other public employees.

Gov. Jim Justice announced the latest appointments Monday after receiving complaints that his initial picks included only two women.

On The Legislature Today, conferees from the Senate and House met for the first time Monday afternoon, following their appointment Saturday night to work out their differences in a salary bill for teachers, school personnel, and other state employees. We bring you an update from the eighth day of the work stoppage, the latest action from the House and Senate floors, and host Andrea Lannom chats with Bob Brown, a representative from the American Federation of Teachers – West Virginia chapter.

On The Legislature Today, there’s only one full week left of the 2018 West Virginia Legislative session. In these final days, tensions continue to run high over the teacher work stoppage and the legislative process addressing the issues of PEIA and teacher salaries. Host Andrea Lannom is joined by fellow statehouse reporter Jake Zuckerman of the Charleston Gazette-Mail to breakdown all the action of the week and what’s to come as we near the final hours.

On The Legislature Today, protesting teachers returned to the Capitol, ignoring their union leadership and extending a work stoppage for a fifth day statewide. Acting on a revised revenue forecast from Gov. Jim Justice, the House of Delegates moved swiftly Wednesday night to pass a new 5 percent pay raise package for teachers, service personnel and state police, with raises for additional state employees to be addressed in the budget bill. But a fix for PEIA is still the issue.

On The Legislature Today, Gov. Jim Justice held a press conference Tuesday evening announcing a 5 percent pay increase for teachers and state service personnel as well as an end to the work stoppage – however, the stoppage looked far from over Wednesday. We bring you the latest from the Capitol. Also, in this episode, host Andrea Lannom is joined by Senate Finance Chairman Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, to talk about the budgetary issues facing lawmakers.

On The Legislature Today, leadership of the West Virginia Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers – West Virginia Chapter, and the West Virginia School Service Personnel Association met with Gov. Jim Justice on the fourth day of a statewide teacher and school personnel work stoppage over salaries and health care benefits.

Shortly after the live taping of our broadcast, Gov. Justice held a press conference announcing the work stoppage would end Thursday and called for a 3 percent pay increase for all state employees this year with an additional 2 percent hike for those who work in education, including teachers and service personnel. Follow our story here for the latest.

On The Legislature Today, teachers, school service personnel and other public employees returned for the second of a two-day work stoppage as frustrations linger over salaries and healthcare. Leaders of the American Federation of Teachers, West Virginia and the West Virginia Education Association announced Friday that the work stoppage will continue Monday. But will it be just that -- a work stoppage -- or a full-on strike? Here’s the latest from the statehouse in this week’s reporter roundtable.

On The Legislature Today, capitol security estimates 2,000 teachers poured into the Capitol Thursday – the first of a 2-day teachers' work stoppage. All 55 West Virginia county school systems were closed because of the work stoppage over teacher salaries and Public Employee Insurance Agency costs. Host Andrea Lannom brings you the latest from the event, and she chats with House Minority Leader Tim Miley, D-Harrison and Del. Ron Walters, R-Kanawha on current action at the statehouse.

Kristian Thacker

The West Virginia House of Delegates has approved a plan to use part of yearly budget surpluses to help fund public employee health insurance.

The bill comes as thousands of teachers, school service personnel and other public employees took to the Capitol Thursday, Feb. 22, to rally lawmakers for better pay and an overhaul of their insurance plan. Schools in all 55 of West Virginia’s counties were closed Thursday because of the work stoppage. A second day of walkouts is planned for Friday.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

As the insurance program for public employees continues to be a large part of the conversation this legislative session, the West Virginia House and Senate each proposed mechanisms Monday, Feb. 19, to provide some long-term relief. While the House of Delegates Finance Committee originated a bill to put budget surpluses toward the Public Employees Insurance Agency (PEIA), the Senate amended a bill that would send some revenue from sports betting to the insurance program.

On The Legislature Today, host Andrea Lannom is joined by Senate President Mitch Carmichael and Senate Minority Leader Roman Prezioso to discuss the latest in the issues over teacher pay and the Public Employee Health Insurance Agency.

Thousands of state employees and supporters rallied at the Capitol Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018 demanding higher wages and for a long-term fix to rising health insurance premiums.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Updated Feb. 25 7:30 p.m.

According to the state Department of Education's website Sunday night ,schools will be closed in at least 51 of West Virginia's 55 counties Monday.

Original story:

 

A statewide walkout has been announced for teachers and other state employees for Thursday and Friday next week. The announcement was made during a weekend rally at the state Capitol in Charleston.

On The Legislature Today, hundreds, some estimate thousands, of teachers and service workers filled the West Virginia Capitol building Friday demanding higher wages and a fix to the Public Employees Insurance Agency. Host Andrea Lannom discusses the action and reaction to the rally in this week’s reporter roundtable.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia House of Delegates Finance Committee has originated and cleared a bill that would add to the PEIA Basic Insurance Premium Fund. The bill would help ensure a freeze on proposed changes to insurance plans for state employees.

On The Legislature Today, the West Virginia House of Delegates passed a salary bill providing pay raises for state police, teachers, and school service personnel. But will it be enough to avert a teachers' strike amid growing frustrations over salaries, problems with the state's insurance provider and teacher vacancies? We hear from the presidents of both the West Virginia Education Association and the West Virginia chapter of the American Federation of Teachers to help answer these questions.

On The Legislature Today, the West Virginia House of Delegates spent nearly four hours in session debating amendments to the teacher, school personnel, and police pay raise bill. We also look at clips from an emotional public hearing on a bill that proponents say will crack down on fraud within assistance programs, like SNAP. Host Andrea Lannom also chats with Minority Vice Chair of House Finance, Del. Mick Bates, D-Raleigh, on a handful of issues moving under the Capitol dome.

On The Legislature Today, Governor Jim Justice held a press conference addressing issues linked to PEIA and teacher pay. In the Senate, lawmakers debated abortion rights, and in the House, tempers flared as the 2018 state Legislative session hit the half-way mark.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Gov. Jim Justice confirms teachers and other West Virginia public employees will see their health insurance coverage unchanged for the next 17 months with his administration finding another $29 million to support the cost.

On The Legislature Today, host Andrea Lannom chats with West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt on the role agriculture plays in diversifying the state’s economy. We also hear the latest on the debate over Public Employees Insurance Agency issues.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Updated: February 8, 2018 at 9:34 a.m.

 

Conversations focused on the insurance provider for public employees continued Wednesday in the West Virginia House of Delegates. The chamber adopted a resolution asking the PEIA Finance Board to hold off on proposed changes for the upcoming year, as House Democrats also pushed to discharge a bill to the floor to repeal the board -- only to see no action on the measure.

On The Legislature Today, host Andrea Lannom chats with two senators who sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee – Sen. Mark Maynard, R-Wayne, and Sen. Mike Romano, D-Harrison. We explore a handful of issues with these two lawmakers. Also in this episode, we spotlight an entrepreneurial agribusiness – growing lavender on barren strip mines.

On The Legislature Today, hundreds of teachers rallied at the Capitol. Teachers from selected counties staged walk-in's and walk-outs, and Governor Jim Justice cancelled a scheduled press conference where it was planned he would talk about education issues. Host Andrea Lannom chats with fellow statehouse reporters Brad McElhinny of West Virginia MetroNews and Ryan Quinn of the Charleston Gazette-Mail in another reporter roundtable.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Hundreds of West Virginia teachers and school service personnel braved below freezing temperatures and rallied Friday at the state Capitol for better pay and benefits. While organized work stoppages came from those in Mingo, Logan and Wyoming counties, teachers from elsewhere around the state made their way to the the rotunda in Charleston.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Gov. Jim Justice says the West Virginia Public Employees Insurance Agency finance board will conduct public hearings this month on his proposal to change its policy to reduce premiums for families that have two state incomes, including teachers.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A group of teachers, public employees and retirees in West Virginia is objecting to proposed health insurance benefits cuts.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the group expressed its concerns Wednesday evening to the Public Employees Insurance Agency Finance Board at the last of five public hearings on the latest proposed cuts.

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Darron Cummings / Associated Press

What were the top stories in West Virginia from 2016? We searched our archives from the past year and compiled this list of the most popular stories.

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PEIA is the public health insurance program that covers all state employees and retirees. Teachers, state troopers, and yes, even employees of West Virginia Public Broadcasting are covered by the insurance plans. But here’s the issue: over the past few years, funding from state government for PEIA has stayed the same, while health care costs have been on the rise. Now, PEIA needs an additional $50-60 million each year in order to keep funding the program at the same level.

 

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